The amount of forum software developer

Ascareus Kratos

Participant
Joined
Jan 1, 2015
Messages
55
In your mind
tell us
enough amount of developer in maintaining and escalatingthe forum software
and
what do you think about amount of these forum software (phpbb, xf, vb, ipb, etc) developer now?
is it lacking?
 

Digital Doctor

Tazmanian
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
4,703
Forums:

Xenforo is the dominant forum, but they have decided to re-factor it.
IPS4 is starting to lack inertia.
WBB is WBB.
As a user I much prefer Xenforo over phpBB. So I'm not sure why an admin would use it.

There is room for excellent Community software as ... so far .... there are none.
 

Azareal

The AtomBB Overlord
Joined
Mar 7, 2010
Messages
1,142
Forums:

Xenforo is the dominant forum, but they have decided to re-factor it.
IPS4 is starting to lack inertia.
WBB is WBB.
As a user I much prefer Xenforo over phpBB. So I'm not sure why an admin would use it.

There is room for excellent Community software as ... so far .... there are none.
XenForo costs a fair bit of money, so it's a big investment right off the bat for a site which might or might not be successful.
That's why an admin might not use it.
Forum admins seem to be becoming more and more risk averse, as forums aren't really anywhere near as popular as they used to be, so slapping down hundreds of dollars for a community is unlikely to remain viable for too long for new sites. And big boards are usually the minority.

Are there enough developers developing forum software? Honestly. The forum market isn't really what it used to be.
Would it be nice, if there were more forum developers in general? Of course. Do we need more competing products? No.
New players in the forum market have largely boiled down to.. Look at me! Look at me! Look at all of the COOL FEATURES that I have! Oh look, it's a platform on Rails, that means that it's automatically awesome, because it's not boring old PHP! Look at my new approach to community management! Look at my endless scrolling feature!

It's things like this which are showing up and trying to look cool. I can imagine forum software becoming simpler and smaller in the future, as projects burn off the large numbers of "flashy features".
We'll go from whatever the cool thing of the week is to something that is *just a forum*. I've seen projects try to stick all sorts of things onto a forum in the hope of remaining or becoming vaguely relevant. Blogs. CMS'. Wikis. There are many examples of things that people shoehorn in.
As for things like IPS, it's a suite, but can it compete with the bigger players in the suite space? Maybe. Who knows.

I'd say that it's not bad considering the climate, it's generally boiled down to either paying (and even then, big players like IPB, XenForo, etc. can't really keep up with the world) or waiting five years (I'm looking at you here, phpBB) for a new version to come out, so I'd say that forum development in general has certainly slowed down.

Will a "community" software take over? Well, define a community software, as many that I've seen who call themselves "community software" involve slapping together blogs, forums, a CMS, etc. and calling it a community software. That's a suite, and usually a poorly done one at that.
 

Digital Doctor

Tazmanian
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
4,703
Will a "community" software take over?
I hope.

as many that I've seen who call themselves "community software" involve slapping together blogs, forums, a CMS, etc. and calling it a community software. That's a suite, and usually a poorly done one at that.
Agreed.

Well, define a community software,
There's a great question.
What does a community need ?
It depends on what the community wants to accomplish.
 

Madi

Espresso King
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
168
In your mind
tell us
enough amount of developer in maintaining and escalatingthe forum software
and
what do you think about amount of these forum software (phpbb, xf, vb, ipb, etc) developer now?
is it lacking?
That is dependent on many factors which are:

1- Your forum niche. Is it about something technical or not? In most cases, tech forums require a bit of solid knowledge and awareness about latest tech and gadgets so you would need experts along yourself to be able to take off properly. If your forums are about something like writing or science-specific field like pet care, you will need little to no tech boys.

2- I believe that "moderators" is what you mean by "developers" in your question and in case my belief is right, then you would need expert moderators with you to be able to launch your forum properly no matter what your niche was. Either you created a forum to talk about latest software or a forum to discuss vegetarianism, you will need experts or at least people who have good knowledge and overall awareness about the topic.

3- Considering the forum software, XF is currently the most solid "paid" option while PHPBB is the closest "free" alternative to XF. It won't matter what forum software you are running in the end though.
 

Rici

Participant
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
71
XF is currently the most solid "paid" option
Brave statement in a discussion board where half of all discussions are about which forum software might be the best - and not all of them leading to the same result! o_O
 

Madi

Espresso King
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
168
Brave statement in a discussion board where half of all discussions are about which forum software might be the best - and not all of them leading to the same result! o_O
Stating my opinion got nothing to do with other discussions are being about. I used and still got valid licenses for all the 4 paid options (Woltlab, VB, IPB and XF)
 

Rici

Participant
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
71
In that case I just couldn't differ between you stating an opinion and giving a fact...
 

Digital Doctor

Tazmanian
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
4,703
Brave statement in a discussion board where half of all discussions are about which forum software might be the best - and not all of them leading to the same result! o_O
Not all that brave.
TAZ is mostly Xenforo Fanboys.
and 92% of conversions between IPB, XF, and vB are To Xenforo (away from IPB or vB)
That's extremely high.
As of February 04, 2015 11:39 EST. Xenforo is most often the way to go.
 

ibaker

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
149
Personally, I think that forum web sites are dieing by the dozen but successful sites grow from that and make their site a "Resource" where the forums themselves are only just a small component of the site. So addons are the most important aspect of forum software so as to allow you to build that resource site up from a forum software platform or framework. However, as many know, addon developers come and go with many site owners being left high and dry, losing their money etc in many cases just over a very short period and good addon developers are far and few between but there are some. IPB seems to have a better "package" but its age lets it down, again in my opinion.

What I am doing to my site is try and change the look and feel of it away from the traditional forum web site to a complete resource solution, under a new domain, and that starts with a completely different menu system different to the traditional horizontal bar. I know sounds a bit left of center but changing the look whilst at the same time creating that whole complete resource just may be enough to change the culture of the users considering it a "forum"
 
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